Inkstone box (suzuribako)

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 19th century
Lacquer, gold, and silver
H x W x D: 4.5 x 20.9 x 23 cm (1 3/4 x 8 1/4 x 9 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Container, Lacquer

Inkstone box (suzuribako)

crane, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

Although both the exterior and interior scenes suggest autumn, their moods contrast.  The suggestion of evening solitude on the exterior gives way to the luxuriant brilliance of chrysanthemums in full bloom when the box is opened. The outer lid is decorated with a pair of cranes facing each other on a sloping water bank.

Published References
  • Alexander G. Mosle. The Mosle Collection: Descriptive Catalogue... Leipzig. cat. 1698, vol. 2: p. 39.
  • Ann Yonemura. Japanese Lacquer. Washington, 1979. cat. 20, p. 42.
  • Linda Merrill. The Peacock Room: A Cultural Biography. Washington and New Haven. pp. 182, 239, fig. 4.34, 6.4.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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